While ringside at today’s Anthony Joshua fight, Conor McGregor claimed his next fight in the UFC will come in December.
He also said that fight will be against Michael Chandler.
Ever since Conor McGregor was announced as a coach for the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter, MMA fans have been waiting to learn when he would return for a fight in the UFC.
For months, that announcement has not come as McGregor has remained out of the USADA testing pool.
In spite of that, McGregor claims he will be back in action soon.
While being interviewed ringside at today’s Anthony Joshua fight, McGregor claimed that his next fight will come against Michael Chandler in December.
🙌 “When am I back? December.”
🔥 “Chandler next. I have to fight him. Then it’s Gaethje & then the Nate trilogy…”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 12, 2023
There’s one really big problem with McGregor’s timeline here.
He still hasn’t rejoined the USADA testing pool, which means he is still 6 months away from being able to fight again in the UFC unless they give him an exemption.
The last time a high-profile fighter was given an exemption, it was Brock Lesnar. He ended up testing positive for a banned substance after his next fight.
If McGregor isn’t granted an exemption, the earliest he could fight would be February if he gets back into the testing pool this month.
From there, he’ll need to get a win over Michael Chandler, which is far from a given, to then go on to fight Justin Gaethje.
Gaethje is in title contention after knocking out Dustin Poirier a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile McGregor has won one fight since 2016.
Whatever happens with McGregor once he does return to the UFC, the trilogy fight with Nate Diaz makes a ton of sense somewhere down the road.
That fight is likely the most profitable one either fighter can hope to get at this point in their respective careers.
With how much time Conor McGregor has spent talking about other fighters recently, it seems like just a matter of time until he is back the cage. However, that return probably won’t actually be coming in December.